Writer: Mike Field
Date:Thursday April 8 2010
Villa's potential Reserve Premier South title confirming match against Fulham has been moved. Blimey that's a mouthful.
Right, as those who follow the second string will know, we are going for consecutive reserve league titles again this season and well to be blunt, they've been doing jolly well.
We sit in first place again after 13 matches, 2 points clear of nearest challengers Arsenal and even have two games in hand over them. This means for the mathematically minded of you who also happen to know that there are only 16 games in a reserve season that if we secure 3 points against Fulham our lads will have secured the title yet again.
The upcoming matches against Stoke and Pompey will be party timers and not count for a jot - although given we haven't lost a game all season I doubt they'd be willing to break that record even if the title was secured.
So with that in mind, it's a little strange to see the club announcing today that the match against Fulham which was due to take place at 7pm on Monday, has now been moved to a 3pm kick off BUT will be behind closed doors at Bodymoor Heath.
Effectively the loyal reserve following fans are going to miss the opportunity of seeing the lads possibly secure the title in the match.
There is no reason given, no rhyme allowed by the club statement. It's as to the point as you can get.
Yes we've got Everton on Wednesday but that's been known for a while and there's no real reason why the Villa Park pitch couldn't hold the reserve clash anyway unless I'm missing something.
I think it's probably likely given the late announcement that the club wanted to protect VP as the season draws to a close and that all attempts to find another venue, whether it be Bescot, whether it be Hinkley, failed.
But it would've been nice to be told.
The club have confirmed they did try to rearrange the reserve fixture for a later date but unfortunately it couldn't be done in a way that suited both clubs. Obviously Villa are also progressing in the FA Youth Cup and Fulham have their own Europa campaign to focus on which made things even more difficult.
The club did also look at Hinkley but on available dates for the clubs, the stadium was sadly unavailable.
As a response to fans unfortunately missing out, the club have arranged for the match to be broadcast on the Official Site so as many fans as possible can still experience the game.
Full details will follow about the coverage in the next few days.
By no means a perfect ending, but pleasing to see the club respond and provide an explanation of how this came to pass, along with their efforts in trying to avoid it.
As said it was a strange fixture change, sadly out of the clubs control.
Date:Thursday April 8 2010
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